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Random Observations for Students of Economics

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Two Ways to Tell the Story

 From Paul Krugman today:The most famous example is the research that Card conducted along with the late Alan Krueger on the effects of minimum wage. Most economists used to believe that raising the minimum wage reduces employment. But is this true? In 1992 the state of New Jersey increased its minimum wage while neighboring Pennsylvania didn’t. Card...


There is an interesting article in The New Yorker about one of my competitors in the intro textbook market. A notable tidbit:Jonathan Gruber, who teaches introductory economics at M.I.T., felt that core might introduce too much complexity for a foundational course. He worried that so much emphasis on the ethical and political dimensions of economics...

Proposed Changes in the Child Tax Credit

A new paper by Kevin Corinth, Bruce Beyer, Matthew Stadnicki, and Derek Wu finds the following (emphasis added). The proposed change under the American Families Plan (AFP) to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) Child Tax Credit (CTC) would increase maximum benefit amounts to $3,000 or $3,600 per child (up from $2,000 per child) and make the full credit...

On Yours Truly

From Miles Kimball, my first dissertation advisee.

Economics Teaching Conference

Later this week, registration will open for the 17th Annual Economics Teaching Conference sponsored by the National Economics Teaching Association (NETA) and Cengage. This conference will be held virtually on Thursday, October 28 and Friday, October 29. I am one of the speakers. Readers of this blog have an opportunity to register now using this link.

A Magic Trick from Biden's Economists

A magician tricks his audiences by distracting them. While people focus on something that is attractive but irrelevant (a shiny object, the magician's beautiful assistant in a skimpy outfit), the magician can more easily hide his deception.In a new CEA blog post, the Biden economics team does something similar. It asks what the average tax rate of the...

Let CBO estimate before you legislate

In my recent Times column on the expanded social safety net, the following passage was cut in the editorial process, but it is an important point, which I am afraid is being lost in the Congressional rush to get something done:Team Biden says they won’t pass the bill onto future generations in the form of higher public debt. Whether that’s true is hard...

Follow-up references

In my most recent Times column, I did not have the space to fully explain the body of work that follows up on the Prescott hypothesis that higher tax rates explain lower work effort and national incomes in Western Europe. For interested readers (that is, the more nerdy ones), here are a some relevant references together with brief excerpts (emphasis...

On the Debt Limit

Remember this?Mr. President, I rise today to talk about America’s debt problem. The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s...

Biden's Leaky Bucket

 Click here to read my new guest essay in The New York Times.

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